Review: The Flowering Rose of Glastonbury

So I listened to this song many, many times since we got the first audio clips from the generous souls in Turin. Most of my listening has been more in aid of figuring out lyrics but I’ve had a little time to reflect on what I’ve been listening to.

First things first, this song grabbed me right off the bat. I’ve been waiting for a real rocker from the boys for years now. Now some arguments could be made with tracks like Vertigo but what I have been looking for is a real driving rock song. Vertigo and others lacked that edge (<- note the intentional U2 reference!!!) that defines a great rock song.

U2 is in a league of their own with a style of their own. And it is layered and complex and interesting to the mind, the soul and the ear. I wanted a throwback. Something from the War era brought into the 21st century. And though it has terrible audio and we're listening to it from a recording half a mile from the stage, I think The Flowering Rose of Glastonbury might be that sound I've been looking for!

Now after listening to it dozens of times, I kept feeling that gnawing feeling that there was some sort of familiarity to it. You could argue that there's a wee bit Achtung Baby channeling through but I'm hearing something else.

It finally dawned on me last night. It wasn't some sort of old U2 twisted forward. It was completely retro. And you may think I'm insane but it was Led Zeppelin that came to mind.

It was the screech guitar. One loud, long (as in 2 or 3 seconds), hard sound. And when I thought Whole Lotta Love I thought 'that's it'! In that song every time he sings 'whole lotta love' there's that strung out, loud note.

I'm not saying this is copyright infringement at all. I'm thinking more of an homage. And U2 likes to pay tribute and are quite open about it. I'm curious if this will be identified as that.

After the song came to mind I started to think why. And the obvious answer is that The Edge spend some significant hours with one Jimmy Page when they did that brilliant little guitar tribute (with Jack White) called It Might Get Loud. On some of the recent clips from the Turin concert, you can hear Bono say ‘All right, a friend of Jimmy’s club’. So that might well be Jimmy Page.

After hearing this in concert with some better audio, I also get bits of Zoo Station coming through. For sure it falls into that kind of rock song category!

I can't wait to get an official version of this song so I can play it loud and get a real sense of the depth and drive that I can feel from what I've heard.

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